When surfing the net and several endurance forums it becomes very apparent that there is a lot of issues out there with achilles tendon problems.
There are many different ways of approaching treatment and there are several potential causes for the problem. Causes can range from prior injuries to muscular dysbalances, from overtraining to wrong footwear and so on. In today’s blog we want to focus a little more on what to do once you find the cause. What to do in order to get back into running, cycling or even just walking again asap.
The Personal Experience
This blog is based on personal experience I had with a severely sore achilles after crashing my bike and yanking my hip (which at this point I wasn’t aware off). After the crash I went back into running and cycling and only when cycling I could tell that something was off. It felt like I was leaning a little to the left on the bike. Then within 2 days I went from not feeling anything to not being able to walk properly anymore.
The ‘You wanna kill me?’ treatment
I went to see a doctor and walked out with a prescription for Voltaren to treat inflammation. After 3 weeks popping the pills and no improvement at all I went to see the physio who prescribed 20 sessions of physio therapy – according to him that was the minimum we needed to get me back on track. Another doctor visit and more Voltaren but still no help. Luckily my insurance couldn’t quite decided if they would cover the physio or not and that’s how I came across the Core Endurance book by Mark Versteegen.
Treating the cause
I simply followed the stretching rules of this book and after about 2-3 weeks my body started to feel ‘straight’ and upright again. Even the achilles got a little better – so obviously I had found and treated the cause. Yet, after putting a lot of stress on the achilles for so long it had gotten so sore – Voltaren didn’t help jack! Not even after taking it for over a month now (and let me tell you – the docs in the US had already prescribed me 3x the daily dose you would get from a German doctor – my stomach did not like it at all).
Here is how I finally treated the symptoms and got back into running
I stopped taking the Voltaren and went on for another 2 weeks – by now I had the achilles problem for over 2 months now – no running, no cycling and I even had to stop working for a week or so when a friend recommended a holistic doctor – Dr. Joshi who conveniently spends 2 weeks a month in New York – to me. I went to see the doc and he started treating me with cupping and acupuncture as well as a few massages and within sessions I started massaging at home with the help of The Stick. Within 3 sessions and roughly 2-3 weeks all problems had disappeared and I was back into running. No more than 2 weeks after getting back into training with the New York Road Runners I ran a personal half marathon best by almost 3 minutes!
(For our German readers – you can find The Stick here: THE STICK )
There are several ways to treat achilles tendon problems – stretching sessions, home massages, massages, cupping, acupuncture, natural remedies such colostrum based products, common horsetail and so on.
What I am trying to say is – don’t be afraid to find your own solution – don’t be afraid to try something different that western medicine. One of the main reasons achilles tendon problems are so hard to treat is the extremely low blood flow around the achilles tendon. This is stopping the ‘little helpers’ and nutrients to properly reach the achilles but also makes it much harder for the body to get rid of the toxins, etc in the achilles area. Accupuncture, cupping and massages all increase the blood flow in this area – supplement with some natural remedies to reduce inflammation and you’ll be back within a blink!
Have own experience with achilles tendon problems and great ways to treat it – let us and our readers know about it. You might just help another fellow athlete to get back on track!
Feel free to comment away!